Several students from the COSMOS center have won awards for their research at the 2023 UALR Research Expo held on Friday, April 21st, 2023.

Every year, UALR hosts its campus-wide Research and Creative Works Expo, celebrating students from all colleges and their unique research. More than 120 talented UA Little Rock students presented their work during the Student Research and Creative Works Expo on April 21! We are thrilled to share that, this year, several of our team members won awards at the Expo! These team members are:

  • Ishmam Solaiman, with 2nd place in the Mainstream Expo’s Computer Science/Information Science category for his project titled Introducing our YouTube Bot – a Fully-Automated Content Discovery and Collection Agent
  • Ivory Okeke and Mert Can Cakmak, with 3rd place in the Mainstream Expo’s Computer Science/Information Science category for their project titled Examining Content and Emotion Bias in YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm
  • Sayantan Bhattacharya and Qudirat Akanji, with 1st place in the UALR Expo’s Computer Science/Information Science category for their project titled Culture, Agenda and the Effect of Social Media on Malaysian Politics – A Survey
  • Mainuddin Shaik, with 2nd place in the UALR Expo’s Computer/Information Science Science category for his project titled The Power of Images and Videos in Social Movements
  • Hayder Al Rubaye and Mayor Inna Gurung, with 3rd place in the UALR Expo’s Computer/Information Science Science category for their project titled Utilizing the Power of Narrative Extraction and Visualization to Improve the Detection of  Deviant Behavior in YouTube

Ivory says, “I was grateful for the expo as it helped me look at my research from a more accessible angle. I had the opportunity to explain the purpose of my research in a more applicable manner while identifying limitations from my audience.”

Ishmam Solaiman describes his research and its goals. “My research expo presentation was on the YouTube content discovery bot I’ve been building. This bot is a data collection tool for YouTube.” He explains, “This project is based on the idea of making the tedious process of collecting data from YouTube much simpler and faster. The expo was a great experience and opportunity to showcase the capabilities and possibilities with the project. I talked about it with various judges and interested individuals and got to hear how the project seemed to them and to discover the many interesting ideas and point of views of different people.” 

Similarly, Sayantan describes his expo experience. “When I enrolled for UALR research expo, I was initially beset by uncertainty as this marked my inaugural foray into such an event. But I believed in my research. Under the mentorship of Dr. Agarwal and Dr. Spann, I meticulously prepared to navigate the intricate web of potential inquiries that awaited me. Several judges expressed a desire to read more about my work, once it is published. This research expo gave me a newfound confidence and a resolute determination to contribute to high-caliber research within COSMOS.

Qudirat also outlines the value of the expo and partnership, saying “I learned a lot from it. I had a supportive partner in Sayantan that helped as well, and I learned a lot about preparing for such events. The most important thing I learned was how to share the value of my work. Sharing the value of your work with people who have different interests can be daunting, but we found that highlighting how our work intersected with their interests helped them understand and relate to it better. Overall, it was a learning experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to share our work and also be recognized for it.”

Haydar encourages new researchers to join in this experience, saying, “I had a wonderful time preparing and presenting at the ResearchExpo. I would describe it as an educational experience that taught me how to think about my work, how to foster collaboration with fellow researchers, what important points to show, and what to skip during an oral presentation. Given the incredible benefits I gained, I would recommend all prospective graduates to apply for next year’s event as it promises to be an invaluable experience that will contribute significantly to their development as researchers.”

Finally, Shaik talked about the journey of such research — emphasizing that these skills can only be acquired by putting oneself out there to present various ideas or research work. “It required effective communication skills and a good understanding of the subject,” he says. “You have to adopt the nature of a salesman to sell your work, but at the same time, it should speak for itself.”